When to consult - TUPE: informing and consulting

When to consult

There is no fixed length of time for employers to inform and consult employees and their representatives in a TUPE transfer. By law, you must allow enough time to inform and fully consult before the transfer.

You should start the process as early as possible, to make sure you meet consultation requirements and allow enough time to include any suggestions from employees or their representatives you agree to.

The time this will take depends on:

  • the size of the organisation
  • how many staff are affected
  • the complexity of any changes

When considering a transfer

Before any decisions are made about a possible TUPE transfer, both the new and old employers should consider informing staff representatives and employees about the potential transfer.

Although it's not legally required at this stage, it would help to avoid rumours and concern among your staff.

When to give notice of TUPE

You must give notice of a TUPE transfer but there is no fixed time period for this.

As you're transferring your employees' contracts, not ending them, you do not need to give the same notice period as you would in other circumstances, for example if you were dismissing someone.

When preparing for the transfer

Once you decide to start preparing for the transfer, both the old and new employers must: 

  • inform employee representatives about the transfer (or employees in smaller organisations with fewer than 10 employees) 
  • consult employee representatives (or employees in smaller organisations) on any changes in working practices ('measures') 
  • arrange employee representative elections, if needed
  • identify who will transfer
  • answer questions, concerns and feedback

It's good practice for the old employer to also speak regularly with the employees who will not transfer because they may be concerned about:

  • job security
  • how the work will get done
  • what affect the transfer will have on the organisation

Find out more about what you must inform and consult about

After the transfer

On the transfer date, the affected employees will transfer from the old employer to the new employer. You will no longer need to inform and consult, unless you plan to make redundancies and need to hold a redundancy consultation process.

For a smoother transition process, it's good practice for both old and new employers to continue talking to employees and their representatives about the transfer, to help:

  • your new staff settle in
  • reassure all your staff, not just those who transferred
  • integrate the new employees with existing staff
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